A wonderful evening of celebration and kotahitanga

Date: 30 Oct 2023

Last Thursday, Dilworth School hosted its inaugural Awards for Cultural Excellence marking an evening of celebration and Kotahitanga as students, staff and whānau came together to honour the outstanding students who received end-of-year accolades for their remarkable contributions to the cultural life of Dilworth School.   

An idea that came to fruition through the significant effort by the Student Cultural Committee, supported by Head of Senior Campus Mr Tom Murdoch and Dilworth Safeguarding Officer Mattie Naseri, this awards evening was a truly special occasion that brought together our school community in the culmination of a year of cultural initiatives and festivities where students have taken the lead, going above and beyond to share their diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences and practise with the entire school, enriching the lives of everyone.

The audience was treated to a vibrant evening as the school hall rocked to a series of dynamic performances from the Junior School, Elei Dance, Hapa Haka and Island Vibes.

The pinnacle of the evening was the awarding of Cultural Colours - the most significant internal awards a student at Dilworth can be given for achievement*.

Commencing with a Karakia, the evening was led by Orlando Falemaka Afeaki. Half Samoan and half Tongan, Orlando hails from the villages of Lefagaoalii and Safotu, in Samoa and Masilamea and Haapai, in Tonga.  His co-host was Rehutai (Joshua) Baker.  His  iwi is Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Maniapoto, Taranaki, and Te Aupouri.

In his opening address, Headmaster Mr Dan Reddiex acknowledged all the parties that have supported the school to strengthen the cultural opportunities open to students.

“Together you have made a formidable team and your contribution to the cultural opportunities extended to our young men both individually and collectively has been a significant one.  Please join me in acknowledging the hard work of our tutors, staff and parents.

He went on to mention the significance of the Student Cultural Committee -  a new addition to the school this year.

“This year there has been a new addition and that new addition, the brainchild of Mr Murdoch,  has added another layer of quality and depth to cultural exposure for our students”

Award celebrations then commenced with the ‘Contribution to Culture’ awards first followed by Colours Kapa Haka, Colours Pasifika Tonga and Pasifika Samoa.

Here are the abbreviated citations for students who received Colours. The depth of talent, strong values and leadership qualities that shine through make wonderful reading and all of us, at Dilworth School, very proud.

Colours Kapa Haka

Teahikaa King. A member of Te Kapa Haka o Titikōpuke since year 7, his leadership flourished in 2023 being given the postion of kaitātaki (leader) of the kapa at Polyfest. He was ranked third of all kaitātaki tāne in the Polyfest Division 1”. With this accolade and many more, Teahikaa can safely claim the title as “Dilworth Kapa Haka's current greatest of all time.

Aporo Haurua. A member of Kapa Haka since Year 10. His leadership skills are evident as a consistent, dependable, confident, and self-assured member of the kapa. These characteristics have helped Aporo shine as a stand out performer. His attitude has  empowered those around him, in particular inspiring the younger members watching from the back row of the kapa to strive for excellence in performance and leadership.

Mukai Duder-Hura. A member of Te Kapa Haka o Titikōpuke since year 7, Mukai is a gifted and talented singer, astute in the classroom, and dedicated to serving young people in the wider community. He is the embodiment of our school values, as well as, an example of how our Māori values and principles should be lived.


Colours Pasifika Tongan

Etueni Mo'ungoloa first featured for the Dilworth Tongan group in 2021, he stepped into a leadership role in 2023, showing dedication to the group. Etueni has role-modelled values important in Tongan culture including respect, humility and service. His quiet and respectful leadership style has provided support for his peers and tutors alike

Ikahui Mahe has been a member of the Tongan group for the last three years. With a presence that commands attention, Ikahui rose naturally to the role of leader within the Tongan Group. On top of his commitments to cultural commitments, Ikahui surfaced and committed himself at the highest level in both the Senior A Basketball Team and the First XV Rugby squad.

Daniel Tavalea has also been a stalwart and committed member of the Tongan group since 2021. Building on skills developed at the Junior Campus, Daniel became a member of the award-winning 2021 Tongan Group. Daniel took up a leadership role this year and was a strong member of the front line in both performances at Polyfest in 2023.


Colours Pasifika Samoan

Joshua Futi gracefully took on the role of Manaia in this year's Polyfest. His dedication to promoting the Samoan culture has led him to be an active member of the Student Cultural Committee. As a member of the Cultural Committee, he not only assisted in the planning and organisation of Dilworth's first language week celebration for the year but expertly conducted his role in the Ava ceremony. Joshua is an embodiment of the Samoan proverb "tautai a'e" meaning to end all things well.

Giorvanni Leupolu took on the role of the Fuataimi in this year's Polyfest where he rose to the occasion being awarded 3rd place overall for his stellar performance. Since joining the Samoan group in 2021 Giovanni has promoted Samoan culture through dance. His dedication to the arts has led him to debut in the internationally recognised Samoan dance company "Sau e Siva" an effort that Dilworth is proud to support.

Dartanyon Tui has a strong passion for his culture and took a lead role in the Ava ceremony during Samoan language week - guided by his grandparents. Dartanyon has also been part of the Samoan group for three years and represents his culture on stage both in and out of school.

Harmony Nonumalo Leti.  Harmony has contributed to the culture of Dilworth through numerous aspects of school life including the annual Arts Exhibition, Polyfest, and Samoan Language Week. He was this year's Samoan Group leader, and also student lead for the Student Boarding Committee. Since joining the Samoan group in 2021 Harmony has been a remarkable leader who exemplifies the Samoan values of tautua (service), loto maualalo (humility), and fa'aaloalo (respect).

Meilani Anderson is a proud Samoan student who strives to thrive in all that he does. As a remarkable dancer, Meilani has exhibited his talents through the Samoan group of which he has been a member since 2021. Student lead for Student Committee Academic, Meilani embodies the Samoan proverb "e te faia pea mea sili ma e manumalo ai lava" meaning "effort precedes victory".

Dilworth is home to students and staff from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. Last night’s awards gave a chance to honour those students who have contributed to the school’s cultural journey and collective knowledge.

*To achieve Colours - Pasifika
Pasifika students must have performed in the Pasifika group at Polyfest (for two years), demonstrated skill,dedication and commitment and shown significant leadership

*To achieve Colours - Kapa Haka
Colours for those students who have performed with the Kapa Haka group at Polyfest (for four years) and consistently been a member of the group for 2 years, demonstrated skill, dedication and exceptional performance on a regional or national level.